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Boston Hysterical Society Invites You To Reconsider Impossible

By S. Mathur

Comedy and magic. Surely that's a winning combination. But Peter Gross, director of the Boston Hysterical Society (BHS) in Concord, NH, is also a hypnotist and mentalist. Yes, you read that right. It is 'Hysterical' and not 'Historical'. Perhaps because the interactive comedy shows for adults leave audiences intrigued and entertained, reeling with laughter and disbelief. BHS also provides magic and comedy hypnotist shows, strolling magic, stage mentalism and mind reading, and neurolinguistic programming stunts.

Audiences include adults in business and corporate settings as well as institutions of higher learning. Gross has performed at Harvard, Yale, MIT and Brown and at corporations like Microsoft, Intel and Boston Scientific.

"My interest in illusions and hypnotism has led me to become fascinated with how the mind operates," he said. "Hypnotic subjects in my show voluntarily go into trance and have the experience of altered realities with only their minds. During my mind-reading shows people must consider how the impossible might be possible."

The interactive comedy shows are exactly that. This makes shows a good choice for corporate team and morale building events.

"I bring people on stage making them part of the fun, although I never make fun of anyone," Gross said. "I celebrate my volunteers and always send them off with the biggest hand from the crowd. It makes each show unique and personal to the group."

Gross is also a mind reader and magician, and his comedy magic shows have been described as sophisticated, hip and very, very funny. He insists though that he doesn't really have ESP, or extra sensory perception. Mind reading, for him, is just about understanding the way people think. Settings can be as varied as a cocktail party, sales meeting, company outing, award ceremony or reception.

Performances can include close up magic and strolling magic, with only a deck of cards, a pad of paper, a borrowed dollar bill, and other commonplace objects. No Vegas style flashing lights or sequined assistants. The Comedy Hypnosis show uses Gross' years of hypnosis training and has volunteers doing things they never imagined, with ordinary people dancing onstage like a corps de ballet.

Gross has traveled widely and performed in international settings in Germany, Spain, Holland, Japan, and Hong Kong. He is featured at Carnival and Celebrity Cruises and the Just For Laughs festival. In Rotterdam. What does he want people to take away from his shows?

"I hope that it inspires people," he said. "As I said in a recent Youtube video 'Reconsider Impossible.'"

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